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Need to Know: Who will the Redskins play in Knighton’s place?

Nov 8, 2015, 6:29 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 8, the day the Washington Redskins visit the New England Patriots.

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Patriots

PROVIDENCE, RI—Reporting from here this morning before heading over to Foxborough for the game.

—It is not a complete surprise that Terrance Knighton is out of today’s game with cluster headaches, similar to migraines.   Earlier this week he said that he didn’t do much during the days off for the bye because he was suffering from them. One option to replace him in the line would be to move Chris Baker to nose tackle and use Stephen Paea at left end. Or they could put Paea in at nose and leave Baker where he has been so effective this year.

—Before every game I write a report on the inactive players for I can usually write most it in advance because I know who the inactive players are going to be, between those already declared out due to injuries and the players who are usually inactive. But with seven players listed as questionable and many of them who will have their statuses decided this morning it’s not that easy. Of the questionable players, I think that DeSean Jackson, Ryan Kerrigan, and Keenan Robinson will play, DeAngelo Hall and Kory Lichtensteiger will not and Chris Culliver and Bashaud Breeland are coin tosses.

—The move of Jackson Jeffcoat to injured reserve is as much a surprise to those of us who are at Redskins Park every day as it is to anyone. He was on the injury report with a thigh problem for Weeks 1 and 2 but he has been fine since. We will find out what the thinking was tomorrow. In any case, Houston Bates, who impressed during the preseason, gets a spot on the 53-man roster and he should be able to hang onto it the rest of the season.

—If Jackson does play today, how much impact can he have? His snaps are likely to be limited as he has not played in a full game in more than 10 months. But Jackson doesn’t have to play a whole lot to have an effect on the game. If he can grab one or two deep passes that will help. But whatever he can do to loosen up the rushing defense up front is unlikely to materialize for a week or two. It’s likely that they will be throwing the ball most of the time when Jackson is in the game.

—Like most, I can’t find a pathway for the Redskins to pull off the upset today. Rob Gronkowski will give them a world of problems and, of course, Brady is an unstoppable force. The Patriots won’t score at will but they will put up somewhere between 30 and 40 points. Maybe the Redskins can get into the 30’s but, as I said yesterday, they won’t be able to do it on the ground. They will have to move the ball with Cousins throwing to Jackson, Pierre Garçon, and Jordan Reed. I see them keeping it respectable that way but ultimately the Patriots are way too much to handle. I’ll take Patriots 38, Redskins 17.


Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Patriots 1 p.m., FOX

Days until: Saints @ Redskins 7; Redskins @ Panthers 14; Giants @ Redskins 21

In case you missed it

  1. hk2000 - Nov 8, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    I didn’t think our defense was good enough to stop them, but with Knighton out, I don’t think they’ll be able to even slow them down- Yes they will be scoring at will!!! Our only chance is to keep it close by having a great offensive plan and Cousins being accurate, and try to match them score for score, but mainly the coach needs to come up with a creative game plan. We’ve seen the coach pay lip service to a lot of things and turn around and behave like he always did regardless of what he said,. so I’m not convinced he actually BELIEVES they can win this game and may very well focus on just trying not to lose BIG, hope I’m wrong.

    • JOHNNY B - Nov 8, 2015 at 11:23 AM

      I rather have this year’s defense than last years. The secondary is better and has made some big plays. The front 7 have also made some game changing stops. We have been out scored last year by an average 8.5 points per game this year only 2.5 so that =1 less td per game, huge improvement. With the offense improvement at a steady qb. I think that we are a better team that has the drive to win. Watch who steps up and performs better. I think that we will see an excellent game today.

      • timwillhide - Nov 8, 2015 at 6:25 PM

        You do realize Cousins was one of the QBs that played last year and helped contribute to that Stat. I would put the Olineplay as the major factors for this team’s Offensive improvement

        • JOHNNY B - Nov 8, 2015 at 7:24 PM

          Do you realize that Cousins got sacked less last year than the other 2 QBs. The o-line last year was better than people think. About 2/3 of the sacks last year was on the QBs calling the wrong protection and not staying in the pocket. Yes the right side was weak but not all on them. So yes the o-line is better and so is Cousins .

        • hail74 - Nov 8, 2015 at 7:35 PM

          Personally I feel like lately the oline play has been mediocre, cousins just makes them look better. When was the last time there was actually a hole for the running back to hit?

        • timwillhide - Nov 9, 2015 at 2:33 AM

          They are much improved in Pass Blocking the QB actually has time and Cousins would probably be better if he did hold the ball a half second longer to let the WE get a little more separation and let the route develop more. I can’t comment on the game against the Patriots till I watch it on game pass. I had to work

        • JOHNNY B - Nov 9, 2015 at 3:59 AM

          Ok is changing good protection from run blocking to pass blocking because they suck with run blocking

  2. bk70 - Nov 8, 2015 at 7:57 AM

    This is the day to see who the 2015 Washington Redskins truly are. No matter who suits up today they must be competitive, no excuses. HTTR

    • hail74 - Nov 8, 2015 at 8:33 AM

      Agreed. I just want to see them come out ready to play and stay that way the entire game. Can I tell you how they’ll beat the patriots? No, but I always think we can.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Nov 8, 2015 at 8:34 AM

    Bit hard by the injury bug. Next man up!

  4. colmac69 - Nov 8, 2015 at 9:36 AM

    Last time we played 07 skins fell to 4-4 after thumping….they bt jets following wk then lost philly. .bucs and bills to fall to 5-7 then won four in a row to reach playoffs (albeit they were playing for Sean taylor).

    Even a loss today (which is xpected)shouldn’t make much difference to rest of yr….07 showed what could b achieved

    Today I want us to play hard for 60 regardless of score…think we will score some pts but patriots will score at least 30+…..however stranger things have happened

    Patriots 34 redskins 17

    • Reggie - Nov 8, 2015 at 9:48 AM

      Actually the last time we played them was in the 2011-12 season. Remember Gronk dragging D Hall 10 yards with him on his way to the end zone?

  5. skinsgame - Nov 8, 2015 at 9:37 AM

    I’ve never seen a team ravaged with injuries as much as this current team is. It’s unreal. In Knightons case, there is no “next man up”. They don’t have another real nose tackle. The point of the 3-4 is to have versatility and additional pass rush pass rush presence on the field. The Redskins defense has no pass rush and now, due to the formation and personnel decisions, they are poorly equipped to deal with an injury like this. If they had good OLB’s I’d understand the insistence on sticking with the formation but they don’t have difference making LB’s. Their change to a 3-4 D has never looked right, personnel wise. I’d love for a couple to step up and prove me wrong.

    We could see 600 yards of offense from NE today. Totally disagree with Rich, I believe ball control is the only shot we have of slowing them down and staying in this game.

  6. kenlinkins - Nov 8, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    At the MLB level every batter is dangerous if he swings hard, in boxing every fighter who letting his hands go can knock out the other guy. In the NFL even a funny bouncing football can effect the outcome. The NFL can not lose the “On any given Sunday” chance of a large under dog without killing the sport. Yes, I still think the Redskins will win today. Do many think that my betting on the Redskins is easy money for New England fans, yes, but I feel that the Redskins are better than most think, and one of the first signs of that is winning a game like this one. SO, here is to the Redskins winning today and finding the path to victory that all of us can not see right now. New England is due for a bad game, and the Redskins are due for a game that they can hang their hats on, and in the NFL that is sometimes all it takes to win.

    • ET - Nov 8, 2015 at 10:55 AM

      “New England is due for a bad game, and the Redskins are due for a game that they can hang their hats on …”

      Both those things are true. It just won’t be this particular game for the Pats or Skins. If I’m wrong, of course, I’ll be more than happy to admit it :)

    • skinsgame - Nov 8, 2015 at 10:55 AM

      I agree with the sentiment of parity in the league. I do not believe there is a huge difference in talent on the various rosters in the league but there is a difference in how the talent executes and situational experience plays a large part of that. The Redskins are at a disadvantage today because they are still learning to execute and have limited experience in executing the assignments they have, compared to NE’s roster. Because they do not draft for “need”, the NE roster is replete with 2-5 year players with continuity in their system. For the Redskins to overcome that today, it will take either a miracle or it will be the beginning of the Redskins turning everything around and becoming a good team. HTTR

    • gasngo14 - Nov 8, 2015 at 11:10 AM

      Ken, I have that gut feeling as well. This would be a HUGE step for our organization and we have been playing hungry and inspired football, It would make a great day for Redskin Nation!!

      GO SKINS!!!

  7. goback2rfk - Nov 8, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    Can’t with win with ponies when your playing thoroughbreds.

  8. goback2rfk - Nov 8, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    Why the hell is Droperts returning the ball during the KO’s. We have Ross and Desean Jackson makes you wonder sometimes.

  9. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Nov 8, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    Bummer of a game.

    • goback2rfk - Nov 8, 2015 at 4:04 PM

      Good try Skins. I thought the offense betrayed Cousins all game starting with the 1st drop / INT of the game.
      Horrible game for a lot of players. Moses had a trash game. Oh well. We are onto New Orleans.

  10. colmac69 - Nov 8, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    Let’s b realistic bout this game…

    Too even have chance of winning u nd to b near perfect….obviously we were not

    First int on Garcon. …..moses at fault for sack….Jones fumble when we driving….defense absolutely horrible on third and long….grant losing onside kick

    Nothing to do with coach not getting guys ready…just plain bad football by players

    We could played a perfect game and still lost by 20…..we only one game behind at halfway point no matter how bad division is

    Cousins and gruden will get lots stick on here as per usual but biggest problem facing this team is lack of rushing on both sides but especially defense…

    Scratch this one and move on to nxt wk

    • colmac69 - Nov 8, 2015 at 4:17 PM

      Failed to mention the drops all day receivers had……simply not gd enough

  11. kenlinkins - Nov 8, 2015 at 4:42 PM

    I do not know about other Redskins fans, but I am sick of this head coach trying to sell the “snake oil” of “Rhythm” required to run his offense. “Rhythm” is not a replacement for execution or good play calling. Why does it seem to me that the Redskins OC is more concerned with trying to keep everyone happy then trying to force other teams defense to adjust. When was the last time this “O” system forced a defense to change what they are doing. IMO this coach thinks it is easy to blame “Rhythm” when he should be blaming the players and coach’s. How much “Rhythm” is required to hold onto a pass? By the way, “Rhythm” didn’t drop any balls or fumble today coach! Also: If this coach was willing to CUT Amerson due to poor play how many Redskins should be on the waiver wire come Monday morning? Are the Redskins heading for the cliff again, well, if they do not change out some players on D and start to hold the OC accountable for poor play calling, then the answer is YES, head right over the cliff again. WHERE ARE THE PLAY MAKERS!

  12. red - Nov 8, 2015 at 5:09 PM

    Okay heres the deal. You see what happened this game? Thats what a CONFIDENT team looks like. We have done nothing but beat philly when they were struggling and tampa who dont have an identity. We drafted 5 guys who came in ready to play. We added pot roast. This is not a no talent team. We are badly coached. If this is a running team why so many 2nd dwn throws? If gruden returns next year he better have jon with him. Our gm had carroll and harbaugh his last two stops i refuse to believe he has any belief in gruden. He has someone in mind. I dont really care about the contract on gruden. Somebody needs to come out and say they blew it with this hire. Gruden knew ppl and said right things and somebody ate it up. Who is the qb fixer making better? Our inactive qb or the guy who cant play back to back good games? Oh we got injuries blah blah blah… Its football these guys all have things they do well and things they dont. So when one guy goes down next guy up but coaches have to put them in places to succeed. Its called knowing your resources dont tell me belicheck doesnt do it. He had 6 olineman for this game. Lt got flipped to rt backup c played tackle and they kept us off brady no sacks 2 tfl.

    • hail74 - Nov 8, 2015 at 7:38 PM

      The talent dropped all those passes and got run over all day. Pot roast didn’t play, did you even watch the game or just look at box scores?

      • Red - Nov 9, 2015 at 11:07 AM

        Did watch even if I didnt the post clearly says who will play in knightons place. I was just stating we have talent. Guys drop balls put them on bench. D whiffing on tackles sit em. If it wasntfor injuries/poor performance benchings there wld have been no tom brady, or breshaud breeland. Guys dont perform make changes thats coaching.

    • John - Nov 8, 2015 at 11:06 PM

      Gruden does not play. Players play and need to be held accountable. Receivers dropping balls all day, especially the drop/pic on Garcon and the Carrier drop.that word have been a huge play.

      Ryan Grant blows it on an onside kick and Andre Roberts fumbles a kickoff. Roberts returned kicks because Ross was inactive (Jackson) and Thompson is hurt. Not sure why Roberts is still here.

      The running game is bad. Holes are there but Alfred is being indecisive. That and Jones fumbling again at a crucial time.

      The defense played hard but still is not stopping anyone. Get Perry Riley out of there. Get Preston Smith in. Smith if nothing else can rush the passer.

      Cousins haters can’t put this on him. The plays were there but the balls were dropped. Despite what the Robert groupies think, he’s not going to be in there unless its for a trick play.

  13. JOHNNY B - Nov 8, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    Our coach decided to bring Grant and sit Ross. First off Ross is one of the biggest play makers on special teams and Grant keeps falling down and I think that he fumbled today. The last time he fell down he did make the td but he still fell. 2nd Matt Jones has fumbled at least 3 times this year. They needed to keep Alf running the ball. 3RD The pass rush was ok they almost got Brady a few times but he was able to throw it away overall the defense was good 2 forced fumbles and 1 interception not bad. Cousins was good but what the hell happened to our receivers so many dropped passes I thought it was 2013 again. Dejax wasn’t 100 percent maybe 80. I hope that was just a bad game not a trend.

    • goback2rfk - Nov 8, 2015 at 5:38 PM

      Worst decision in the world to sit Ross. Can not fathom why in the world the coach would sit him. He also needs to be in there on some offensive plays. Ross is explosive they need to give him a chance.
      Jackson was blanket covered all game like glue. No separation at all. He is not 100% and it looked like he “tweaked” it again today.

  14. goback2rfk - Nov 8, 2015 at 5:30 PM

    We need to use Ross more. I think having Droperts return KO’s is one of the worst decisions on Special Teams this season. At one point in time Jackson was a return specialist. Give him a shot at a couple returns, he will get hurt one way or another so why not give him a chance?
    The offense imploded today with penalties, missed blocks, drops, fumbles, yikes! ugly ugly ugly. Cousins did absolutely nothing wrong. Can not blame hit all for this game. Kirk can and will not carry the entire team. Archives

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